NSCA UPDATE | 7.31.20
New Song Christian Academy Family,
Thank you for the feedback many of you have given us on our opening protocols. In light of the many questions and comments we have received, we want to clarify and adjust a few things that we trust will be helpful and get us all on the same page. Take a few minutes to watch a video from our Admin Team by clicking the video link above.
1. Our goal is to be on campus and be together. And we can say with certainty that unless prohibited by law, we will be meeting in person. If someone does get sick with COVID, we will close to disinfect and help identify with confidentiality those who might need to isolate for people’s safety. We will work to continue a campus presence as quickly as we can.
To be clear, we are not tied to what Williamson County or Williamson County School mandates. We do use them and other resources as guidelines for us to best determine when we can lift restrictions over COVID-19. And we will be constantly reviewing our protocols and will certainly review and revise as necessary and helpful.
2. By social distancing, we believe that for the vast majority of our students, the need for facial coverings will be very limited each day based on classroom size and actual attendance. Studies recommend having 3-to-6 feet between students and tables, which we can attain in most of our Tuesday/Thursday classes and in all of our Wednesday/Friday classes. We also understand that younger children will have a difficult time staying away from each other. That is a risk that is unavoidable no matter the classroom size.
3. Facial coverings (masks, shields, etc). We have received helpful feedback, data and research from many of you on all sides of the mask issue, and each side has their valid arguments. We are doing our best to listen to those we trust in the medical field (doctors, nurses, researchers) whom we have access to, both locally and nationally. We have many people weighing in, including those who are charged with developing protocols that we believe best protect us and you from any liability that might arise from sickness.
Our elementary students, especially the Pre-K through 3rd, will have a more difficult time managing consistent facial coverings throughout the day. Many studies show that younger children (e.g., preschool or early elementary-aged) may be unable to wear a cloth face covering in a way that would protect them, particularly for an extended period of time. Therefore, while we strongly encourage facial coverings, families have the option of not using them in PreK through 3rd Grade.
For our 4th through 11th grades, facial covering usage will be limited to when the students are transitioning in hallways and in close gatherings. While indoors and maintaining social distancing, facial coverings will not be required. We are also looking at how we may stagger times when students move from class to class which will help with social distancing.
As we had said before, face coverings will NOT be required for either recess (outside) or lunch (cannot eat with a face covering).
For Fine Arts classes (Dance and Drama), we will follow the protocols laid out above for being in hallways and in close gatherings. Because they will be able to adequately social distance once in classrooms, facial coverings will not be required during class.
4. Going Forward: We understand that not everyone agrees or is totally comfortable with any plan as it relates to COVID-19. There will be policies and guidelines that we find uncomfortable or less than adequate. What we’re asking and hoping for at this point in time is that if you feel from the Lord that we are to partner with you this coming year but struggle with our current policies that you will meet us in the middle. We know we are not and will not be perfect, but we have to start somewhere and adjust as necessary once classes begin as we see what is working and what isn’t. We cannot and will not be facial covering enforcers but will do our best to put guidelines in place that address the vast majority of concerns. So let us help one another grow and go through this.
Also, please understand that we are just not able to answer every question and cover every possible contingency or scenario that may happen. What we can offer is a 25-year track record as a program that follows Jesus in trying to do the best and right thing for all. That is where we believe the Lord is leading and guiding us in a Holy Spirit-led reasonableness through this all.
We continue to be thankful for you all, for your prayers, grace and partnership. We are praying for you all as well and are so looking forward to seeing everyone in a few short weeks!
- NSCA Administrative Team